Work Environment and Health Profile: A Health Survey Among Professional Military and Civilian Musicians in Norway

FFI-Report 2021
This publication is only available in Norwegian

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Frank Brundtland Steder Øyvind Albert Voie
In the spring of 2020, FFI received a request to map the health-related working conditions among musicians at the Norwegian Armed Forces Orchestra (FMUS). The request referred to previous research showing that the psychosocial environment, occupational stress and working conditions among musicians are more demanding than in most other professions. Initially, FMUS wanted to map whether this was also the case among military musicians. FMUS was particularly interested in mapping whether the work situation among military musicians differs from the work situation among employees in civil symphony orchestras. Despite FFI's varied research on occupational injuries and occupational stress in the Armed Forces, this is the first time FFI has mapped physical, social and psychological challenges among professional musicians. In this study, an extensive quantitative data collection, including statistical analyses regarding various work environment and health factors among professional musicians, has been carried out. This can at a later stage be compared with corresponding survey data from the general population. The report will primarily provide a good description of the survey's design, content and the actual data collection process. In addition, it will present some selected results regarding the extent of work environment injuries in FMUS. A general approach throughout the report is the comparison between FMUS employees and employees in eight different civilian orchestras in Norway, including the country's symphony orchestras. This makes the survey unique in an international context. We find no reason to claim that there are large differences in work environment-related injuries between FMUS employees and employees in civilian orchestras. In addition, we find no differences in the health profile between the two groups. However, we do find that there are large differences in the working environment. Furthermore, we find differences in occupational stress, pay, and differences in the number of working hours per week, as well as the degree of control over one's own efforts. 40–70 percent of FMUS employees report various musculoskeletal pains caused by the job situation. Furthermore, 47 percent report that they find it necessary to work at a high pace and 25 percent often have too much to do. 46 percent experience shortcomings to influence decisions that are important for work. 82 percent of FMUS employees have experienced downsizing and reorganization, which makes them uncertain about the future. As many as 44 percent believe they are in danger of losing their job due to closure, reduction or other reasons within the next three years.

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